Movement Strategies for Countermovement Jumping are Potentially Influenced by Elastic Energy Stored and Released from Tendons

Logan Wade, Glen Lichtwark, Dominic James Farris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The preferred movement strategies that humans choose to produce work for movement are not fully understood. Previous studies have demonstrated an important contribution of elastic energy stored within the Achilles tendon (AT) during jumping. This study aimed to alter energy available for storage in the AT to examine changes in how jumpers distribute work among lower limb joints. Participants (n = 16) performed maximal and sub-maximal jumps under two paradigms, matched for increasing total work output by manipulating jump height or adding body mass. Motion capture and ground reaction force data were combined in an inverse dynamics analysis to compute ankle, knee and hip joint kinetics. Results demonstrated higher peak moments about the ankle joint with added body mass (+26 Nm), likely resulting in additional energy storage in the AT. Work at the ankle joint increased proportionally with added mass, maintaining a constant contribution (~64%) to total work that was not matched with increasing jump height (-14%). This implies greater energy storage and return by the AT with added mass but not with increased height. When total work during jumping is constant but energy stored in tendons is not, humans prioritise the use of stored elastic energy over muscle work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2300
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2018


  • Achilles Tendon/physiology
  • Ankle Joint/physiology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Elasticity
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Hip Joint/physiology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint/physiology
  • Locomotion

Cite this